The Millennium Summit held in New York in September 2000 was a land mark event that brought together a number of countries and heads of state to form a global consensus of the challenges facing humanity. More important to the summit deliberations was to discuss and come up with what needed to be done to overcome the challenges facing the world development initiatives resulting into formulation of the Millennium development Goals (MDGs) that were planned to be achieved within the then, proceeding 15 years (2000-2015) and those goals included:
Eradication of extreme poverty and hunger; Achieving Universal Primary Education, Promoting gender equality and empowering women, reducing Child mortality; Improving maternal health; Combating HIV/AIDS, Malaria Tuberculosis and other diseases; Ensuring Environmental Sustainability and Development of the Global Partnership for Development. To this effect, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development with collaborative support and working effort from UNDP began tracking the developments made towards achieving the MDGs by writing a series of six Millennium Development Goals reports before 2015.
Government has since been producing reports that assess the progress made in implementation of this agenda. Notable among the MDG reports are the last three that were written in 2010, 2013 and 2015 respectively, whose salient issues are outlined below:
The 2010 MDG Report, a third in a series of reporting efforts towards progress to achieving the Millennium Development Goals for Uganda by 2015, the report revealed that Uganda had made important progress towards achieving many of the MDGs. In other areas however, government acknowledged that progress had been slow to meet MDGs. While access to Universal Primary Education (UPE), has been low, coupled with a lot of dropouts, several of the health targets especially related to child mortality and maternal health have not been achieved, access to reproductive health and efforts to fight HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases had not been achieved to the required dimensions calling for the theme adopted in this report; “Accelerating progress towards improvement in maternal health”. In this report, Government acknowledged that special efforts were needed if the MDGs were to be met by 2015 in terms of national averages and real progress for all Ugandans.
The 2013 MDG Report, the fourth in series of reporting progress made towards achieving MDG targets by 2015, sought to identify underlying factors affecting the progress; and household income was a strong predictor of almost all the MDGs outcomes, particularly access to sanitation, child health and progression to higher levels of education. The report considered how best the country could accelerate allocation of resources to jump start interventions needed to achieve the MDGs, sighting a short period remaining to achieve the set targets. The report realised that allocating more resources to public education and health services would not be sufficient without further improvements made in efficiency of service delivery and massive investments towards infrastructure projects especially in roads, energy and IT. More significant in the 2013 MDGs report, it was sighted that despite significant efforts made to improve service delivery, maternal and infant mortality rates remained a big challenge with many deaths occurring during and after birth. Also, past achievements in the fight against HIV/AIDS, Malaria Tuberculosis and other diseases had begun to reverse with persistent infections especially among the age group 15-24 years where efforts were needed to reverse the situation.
The 2015 MDG report provided an assessment made to track achievements made and also register weaknesses faced in attempt to achieve the 8 MDGs, goal by goal in totality. As the world was winding up scrutinising the global, regional and particular progression to complete the MDG agenda in 2015, there was a necessity to welcome the transition to another fifteen year agenda, 2015- 2030. However, prior to this transition, it was necessary to look at and take stock of the remarkable gains the country had made over the last 15 years (2000-2015) of the MDGs agenda. Uganda’s commitment to achieving MDGs was to the effect that government set out not only to address the symptoms of underdevelopment but more importantly, to resolve the underlying fundamental contradictions responsible for plaguing the dignity of Ugandans. This report, the fifth and final MDG progress report for Uganda revealed that the country had come a long way in that endeavour and that Uganda had achieved 33% of the MDG targets. Interestingly, unachieved goals were postponed and referred to as unfinished business to tackle within the incoming planning frameworks of National Development Plan, efforts to achieve sustainable development and realising Uganda vision 2040.
Source: MoFPED: The Economic Development Policy and Research Department